Let’s say that your organization (or your very, very busy home office) needs to churn out 20,000 or so high-quality prints each month, and some of them (perhaps all of them) must be tabloid-size (11×17 inches). You’re considering purchasing one of Brother’s Business Smart Plus all-in-one (AIO) printers—maybe our highly capable Editors’ Choice pick, MFC-J6935DW [amazon_link asins=’B01LYA9D2C’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’0a347f14-c574-11e7-8053-9fa7d695e47d’], or perhaps the HP Officejet Pro 7740 Wide-Format All-in-One [amazon_link asins=’B01JUCLLGK’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’480e89f4-c574-11e7-aa5d-5bcc41688206′]. And why not? Both are logical choices: They print exceptional tabloid-size pages, and they both have maximum monthly duty cycles of 30,000 pages—10,000 pages more than what you need to print, right?
Well, not so fast.
Let’s start with that 30,000-page monthly duty cycle. The more important number—the one not printed on the box—is the recommended monthly page volume, which on the Brother machine we mentioned above is up to 2,000 pages monthly. The Officejet’s recommended volume is up to 1,500 pages per month. As well-built as these machines are, if you actually pushed them to their maximum monthly duty cycle rating each month, you’d likely be shortening their service life. But that’s not all.
Some rough napkin math: Printing 20,000 pages per month, excluding weekends and holidays, comes out to about 1,000 pages per workday. (30,000 pages per month equals about 1,500 pages per day.) If you used one of these midrange business printers to churn out these kinds of volumes, day in and day out, you’d have to fill their paper drawers several times a day, and—especially if you’re printing wide-format, which uses about twice the ink as a standard letter-size page, all else being equal—you’d be changing the ink cartridges twice a day, perhaps more. If you truly require this kind of volume, especially on tabloid-size pages, you need a machine designed to handle this much printing. And that is where a model like the $2,199 HP PageWide Pro 750dw we’re reviewing here today comes in.
Yes, that’s a lot of money for a printer, especially an inkjet printer. But as you read on, you’ll see that, first, HP PageWide printers are not ordinary inkjet printers, and the PageWide Pro 750dw is no ordinary PageWide machine.
In fact, given its size, volume, and some other specs, we think that it’s better suited to HP’s PageWide Enterprise line, like the HP PageWide Enterprise Color 556dn [amazon_link asins=’B01DVP61OO’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8c38f315-c574-11e7-be25-e3de8c8c61ee’] reviewed at our sister site, PCMag, a while back. The PageWide Pro 750dw is, for example, designed to support up to 40 networked users, rather than the five or so users recommended for the smaller inkjets we’ve been talking about.
In fact, the PageWide Pro 750dw is much more in line with a high-volume color laser printer, such as the Dell Color Smart Printer S5840Cdn [amazon_link asins=’B01KODOMHY’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b34178d1-c574-11e7-9809-39f4d8bfead7′] we reviewed late last year. A primary difference between it and the 750dw is, of course, that the HP model can print at sizes up to tabloid, which is one reason the PageWide model costs so much. High-volume laser-class printers that can do wide-format, such as the OKI C831n ($1,699 MSRP) [amazon_link asins=’B00DFB7TUA’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’da7cf574-c574-11e7-bb18-c93b5ed25577′] and OKI C831dn ($1,929) [amazon_link asins=’B00DFB7U8Q’ template=’CopyOf-PriceLink’ store=’store-1′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f9c5d76b-c574-11e7-9d07-d176cdfc20f2′], and wide-format laser alternatives (such as our 750dw), typically have high price tags. But the good news is, at least in the case of the HP model, is that its running costs are reasonable once you’ve bought the printer.
In addition, the PageWide Pro 750dw is highly expandable. You can boost the paper capacity, as we’ll discuss later on, over 4,000 sheets. Plus, according to HP, in the fall of 2017 numerous copier-like finishing options (among them a stapler and a collator) will come available.
The PageWide Pro 750dw is an immense, and immensely well-built, volume printer meant to endure blizzards of wide-format printing month after month. Our only real quibble with it is that it’s somewhat expensive. But then, if you plan to print upward of 10,000 pages each month, you need a Humvee, not a Chevy Silverado.